While Yale students reported a higher incidence of sexual harassment and sexual assault than students at other schools across the country, they also demonstrated a greater awareness of the scope of the problem and resources available to address it, according to survey results released Monday by the Association of American Universities.

The study, which polled students at 27 universities and colleges across the nation about the climates of sexual conduct at their respective schools, found that Yale students are 30 percent more knowledgeable about where to get help for victims of misconduct, as compared to the average college student. Additionally, over half of all Yale students participated in the survey; across all the universities that participated in the aggregate study, the participation rate was 19.3 percent. In the introduction to Yale’s survey results, University Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler wrote that this relatively high response rate may be indicative of a greater attention to issues of sexual violence on Yale’s campus — and might even play a role in the prevalence of sexual misconduct at Yale.

“The AAU survey found that schools with higher response rates also had higher prevalence estimates,” she wrote. “One possible explanation for this finding is that student engagement in campus efforts to reduce sexual misconduct leads to increased identification of inappropriate and prohibited behaviors.”

Indeed, students interviewed suggested that Yale is an environment that fosters discussion about sexual assault and encourages students to be more sensitive to what might constitute unacceptable behavior.

According to Corey Malone-Smolla ’16, a Communication and Consent Educator, Yale’s response rates and overall survey results are a reflection of students’ concerted efforts to “de-normalize” certain actions.

Lauren Chambers ’17 agreed that Yale students are not conversation-shy. She said there has been a “very vocal, visible debate on campus” about the need to eradicate sexual misconduct.

Students and CCEs interviewed also said the University is very clear with articulating and disseminating its sexual misconduct policies and related definitions.

Olivia Facini ’19 said she thinks that Yalies have a good understanding of terms such as “sexual harassment,” “sexual assault” and “consent,” adding that she believes incidences of sexual misconduct are not happening due to a lack of education. According to the survey’s results, 61.5 percent of Yale students are either somewhat, very or extremely knowledgeable about how sexual assault or sexual misconduct are defined. Nationally, this figure is 57.6 percent.

CCE Joshua McGilvray ’18 said the University’s definition of consent is especially clear. Yale students are well equipped to understand what consent looks like, he said. The networks and structures that Yale puts in place, like the freshman CCE-led sessions and the mandatory sophomore bystander intervention workshops, demonstrate that the administration takes sexual misconduct very seriously, McGilvray added.

Still, when it came to reporting incidents of sexual misconduct, Yale students seemed to face the same barriers as students at other schools.

At Yale, 27.4 percent of female undergraduates who were penetrated by force reported the incident, a number in line with the 25.5 percent found by the AAU survey across all schools. At both Yale and other institutions, reporting rates fell as the physical violence of the encounter decreased: 7.1 percent of Yale female undergraduates reported an incident of harassment, compared to an AAU average of 9.1 percent.

In addition, many of the reasons Yale students gave for not reporting incidents of misconduct paralleled reasons given nationwide. The most frequent rationale was that students had not considered the incident important enough to report.

“I have a lot of questions about that,” said Senior Advisor to the President and Provost Martha Highsmith, noting that it was one of the survey results that had surprised her most.

But some students argued that certain incidents that would technically fall under the University’s definition of sexual misconduct are too insignificant to be reported. One female student, who did not fill out the survey and asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said that if someone is assaulted at a fraternity, the incident should be reported, but if someone is catcalled or groped at a party, she believes these incidents are too minor to warrant reporting.

However, Malone-Smolla disagreed.

“Someone grabbing my butt on the street shouldn’t be part of the everyday experience of being a woman,” she said.

Furthermore, over 30 percent of female Yale students who did not report an incident of forced penetration said they did not report because they did not believe anything would be done about the complaint — a figure slightly higher than the AAU average of 29 percent.

Female students at Yale had less faith than male students did that the University would take complaints of sexual misconduct seriously: 46.6 percent of female undergraduates said they believed campus officials would take the complaint “very” or “extremely” seriously, compared to 65.4 percent of male undergraduates.

The survey also revealed campus support for those who report sexual assault incidents. Over 92 percent of Yale students who took part in the survey reported that they are “extremely” to “somewhat” supportive of a person making a sexual assault report, with just 1.2 percent answering that they would not support this decision at all.

However, a majority of these students said that a retaliation from the alleged offender or their associates is at least “somewhat” likely.

S. Daniel Carter, director of 32 National Campus Safety Initiative — a campus safety advocacy group — said that while there is often only a small number of students that are unsupportive of victims reporting assaults, the majority who want to help out are not equipped to do so.

“One of the most significant barriers facing sexual assault survivors is the lack of support from peers,” he said. “The majority of people are not empowered to support survivors, and therefore the minority that is against the reporting of sexual assault is heard the most.”

The survey also looked into the culture of bystander intervention on campus. Roughly a quarter of the undergraduate responders at Yale said they have witnessed someone acting in a sexually violent or harassing manner. Among these students, 56.9 percent said they did not take action, either because they were unsure of what to do, or for other reasons. The survey showed that students were more proactive when their friends were involved. Of the 22.1 percent of undergraduate responders who said they suspected that a friend was sexually assaulted, 65.2 percent took action.

“I see a ton of interventions that happen every day,” said Malone-Smolla. “Some of them are so low-stake that it might not seem like a bystander intervention.”

The CCEs will begin bystander intervention workshops with sophomores this week.